Defoe among hundreds at Bradley Lowery funeral
14 July 2017 National News
Hundreds of people are attending the funeral of six-year-old football mascot Bradley Lowery who died of cancer last Friday.
England striker Jermain Defoe, who struck a close friendship with Bradley, left training in Spain to attend the funeral and wore an England shirt to the service.
Ahead of the service, thousands of mourners lined the streets of Blackhall, County Durham to pay their respects.
The service took place at St Joseph Church where Bradley was baptised six years ago.
His coffin arrived in a carriage pulled by white horses draped with his favourite team Sunderland’s red and white stripes.
Friends and relatives walked behind dressed in superhero costumes and football shirts with ‘Bradley’ and the number six printed on the back.
A spontaneous applause broke out as the cortege passed crowds and some released balloons.
Bradley, who died from the childhood cancer neuroblastoma, struck a close friendship with the striker, who said the little boy would continue to inspire him.
Bradley was a mascot several times for Sunderland last season, Defoe’s former club, as well as for England at Wembley.
Bradley’s family said the funeral was open to everyone and that there was no formal dress code.
Ahead of the funeral, the family wrote on Facebook: “This is open to everyone who would like to come and celebrate Bradley’s life and pay their respects to show him how much he was loved.
“Family and friends have chosen the theme cancer has no colours. So they are wearing football tops it doesn’t matter what team or colour.”